For the first part of our deployment-is-over celebration vacation, we went to Boston for 5 days. We had just applied for and been accepted into the Global Entry program, which also grants TSA precheck, so it was a great start to the trip to breeze through that line in security and not have to remove our shoes, laptop, jackets, or belts. It may be my imagination, but all the TSA folk seem much friendlier when you have precheck.

We arrived in Boston in the early afternoon and took a cab to our hotel, the XV Beacon. We had been looking forward to staying at that hotel for many years, and I have to say it wasn’t a perfect experience. I doubt we’ll stay there again when there are so many nice hotels in Boston in that price range. The hotel was lovely, and all of our personal interactions with the staff were excellent, but our room had some big issues, the biggest being noise problems. Half of the rooms in the hotel are on the back of the building, where there are extremely loud dumpster pick-ups both late at night and in the morning. Needless to say, our room was in the less fortunate back half. We were also near the elevator, which I heard all night long (I am a very sensitive sleeper and I think most people wouldn’t have been bothered by the elevator). Add to that an A/C vent that blew directly onto our faces whenever it clicked on in the night (and the room got hot and stuffy whenever it was off), and I don’t think I had one good night’s sleep while I was there. The hotel was fully booked, so the front desk was unable to help us with a room change. I did manage to sleep most nights with the help of Tylenol PM plus ear plugs, but it definitely soured me on the hotel. Our towel warmer didn’t work (boo hoo, poor us, I know this sounds ridiculous!, but if they have one in the bathroom, it’s just taunting you when it doesn’t work) and neither did the gas fireplace. So, overall, not quite the experience I was expecting at the XV Beacon. They did have a lovely rooftop deck:



So after we checked in and unpacked, we took a long, wandering walk over to Fenway for the Red Sox game that evening. I think we walked almost 8 miles that first day according to Domingos’s Fitbit!

Bridge on the way to Fenway
Bridge on the way to Fenway


The game was lots of fun, and the Sox completely routed the Rays, but I definitely could have used one extra layer of clothing! It was chilly that night!




On Friday, we took the T out to spend the day with Domingos’s mother and aunt. We had bought an iPad for his mom, and spent the day trying to teach her how to use it. We had terrific fish & chips for dinner (The Lobster Barn in Abington), and then when we returned to Boston that evening, we went out for a couple of drinks at Carrie Nation, a speakeasy-type bar right next door to our hotel.

Saturday, we were lucky enough to have breakfast with friends of ours who also happened to be visiting Boston that weekend, and we met another couple that they were visiting with. Afterwards, we wandered Newbury Street all day, checking out almost every shop, stopping for fantastic lattes at Pavement Coffee House, and sharing an excellent sandwich for lunch at Wichit. We ate dinner at Mooo, the steakhouse in the XV Beacon, and one of our favorite Boston restaurants, and it didn’t disappoint.

Sunday, we went for brunch at Mistral, the restaurant where we were married 5 years ago, and had the best brunch food of our lives. My rosemary ham and gruyere omelet was out of this world! It was a sunny, hot day, and we decided to take a harbor cruise, which I had done with my friend Kate last year and Domingos had never done. We had wonderful views of Boston Harbor and the city skyline, and the breeze off the water was very refreshing.




After the cruise, we wandered around Quincy Market, then went to dinner at Wagamama at the Prudential Center (always yummy!).

On Monday, we finally made it to our Boston fave Finagle a Bagel for breakfast, and then we found a post office to send a few things home that we didn’t want to take to Banff. We spent most of the afternoon packing up and getting ready for the next leg of our trip, had a delicious dinner at a little Mediterranean place down the street, Piperi, and then watched the Pats completely and totally suck on Monday Night Football. We didn’t bother watching the entire game since we had to get up at 3:15 for an early flight.


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